A Look at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark

I’m a huge fan of Tactics-style games, Final Fantasy Tactics being, as it is to many, my favorite of the genre. Along comes Fell Seal claiming, like many games do, to be somewhat of a “spiritual successor” to FFT. I’ll admit, it does mechanically feel a lot like the beloved game of old. Unfortunately there’s too many flaws to really make it worth my time.

Let me start off by saying that Fell Seal controls beautifully. It provides all the percentages, stats, and information a Final Fantasy Tactics junky could want. Characters level up, earn points to upgrade skills, can equip various skill just as you would in FFT, and can unlock and change classes using a very familar system. Main characters have special classes, while recruited characters can run the gamut and master every class. There’s even a way to customize the look of each new recruit you hire.

I mean…come on. Doesn’t get more FFT than this.

Like I stated before, that’s where the similarity ends. Unfortunately, Fell Seal suffers from a boring, repetitive, and predictable storyline. The sprites, while colorful, just aren’t very attractive and lack depth on animation. The character portraits are just…ugly. What makes the sprites look even duller is that each stage is beautifully illustrated in stark contrast to the dull portraits and stiff character animations. As far as the game’s sound goes, it has great music but the sound effects sound a bit too soft. Not at all immersive.

I’ve seen a lot of people out there who really enjoy this game. I just can count myself among them. As much as I really wanted to get into it there were just too many barriers keeping me from really enjoying myself. It lacks a sense of self. A soul, if you will. It doesn’t set itself apart in any way, shape, or form, and I need a bit more than just a solid mechanical structure to spend my time on when there’s so many other interesting Tactics games out there.

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